The stress of normal day-to-day obligations can cause us to overlook important health practices, especially when it comes to our skin. Two of the most overlooked habits are hydration and sleep.
When we start to put these on the back burner, it can show up in the appearance of our skin.
If you feel like your complexion has been lacking its usual glow, you might want to consider making some adjustments to your routine. But how do sleep and hydration affect our skin? Let’s look.
Hydration and Skin Health
Getting enough water can be challenging, especially during busy days.
With other popular beverages, such as coffee, tea, and soda, providing energy and flavor to our cups, it can be hard to choose plain water instead. Those who don’t drink a lot of water daily may notice dull, dry-looking skin.
This is because our inner hydration can affect our outer hydration. If our skin is not well hydrated, it will appear dull and lifeless. It will also lose elasticity, which can result in the increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles .
Tips for Better Hydration
The recommendations for water intake vary by individual. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, women should aim to consume at least nine 8-ounce cups of water per day and men at least thirteen.
These amounts should increase for those who are physically active or live in a hot climate. A great way to tell if you are well-hydrated is to check the color of your urine. It should be a pale yellow color. If your urine is dark, you need more water .
Some easy ways to boost your water intake include swapping out your other beverages for water. Especially if those other beverages contain high amounts of caffeine, which can be dehydrating.
Keep a refillable water bottle with you to remind you to drink. Some water bottles have the ounces listed on the side, allowing you to better track your water intake throughout the day. If you don’t enjoy plain water, try sprucing it up with some fruit or herbs to add a little flavor, such as strawberries and lemon, or cucumber and mint.
Electrolytes are another important component in hydration, especially for those who are active. You can find electrolytes in many sports drinks however, those often come with large amounts of added sugars and artificial ingredients.
Instead, choose hydration packets, such as Naked Nutrition’s electrolytes powder packets. These can help you stay well-hydrated during physical activity without all the artificial ingredients in other sports drinks and electrolyte products.
Sleep and Beauty
There’s a reason they call it beauty rest. Sleep is essential for our health and that includes the health of our skin. While we are asleep, our body takes this time to recover.
Blood flow is increased, bringing extra nutrients and oxygen to our skin to aid in this recovery. If we skimp out on our nightly z’s, we interrupt this process. In fact, some studies have found that poor sleep quality shows increased signs of aging .
Tips to Improve Sleep
Now that we know how important sleep is for our skin, let’s look at some ways we can improve our sleep.
Exercise – If you are looking to improve your sleep routine, consider adding in regular exercise. Research has found exercise to be beneficial in helping people fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.
You don’t need to incorporate a vigorous exercise routine to reap the benefits. Adding in 20-30 minutes a day of light aerobic exercise, such as walking, will do the trick. .
Limit Caffeine in the afternoon – Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can affect our ability to fall asleep if we aren’t careful. Although it’s a great morning pick-me-up, indulging in caffeinated beverages too late in the afternoon could be causing trouble with your sleep routine.
Consider limiting caffeinated beverages to no later than noon. Instead, swap for water or herbal tea.
Avoid large meals before bed – Dinner tends to be the largest meal of the day for most. If we consume a large meal and then try to go to bed it can cause trouble with our digestive system.
Aim to have your last meal at least 3 hours before bed. This will allow your body the time it needs to digest before you find yourself hungry and looking for a snack.
Don’t cut off eating too soon before bed or you might find yourself hitting the hay with hunger pangs and this can keep you from being able to fall asleep as well .
Create a sleep routine – Last, but not least, establish a sleep routine. Your body works its best when it knows what to expect.
Aim to go to bed around the same time each night, and wake around the same time each morning. This will better prepare your body to fall asleep in the evenings.
Sleep and hydration are incredibly important for our health, and that includes the health of our skin.
If you are looking to regain your youthful, glowing complexion, start by looking at your sleep and hydration habits. A simple change can make a big difference in the way your skin looks and feels.